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Solicitations on my old Toyota

ABout every six months, I get a solicitation from the local Toyota dealership for my 1994 Toyota Camry, which, except for some silly electronic problems, still runs pretty well. I’m starting to get them for my 2005 Subaru Impreza too (I’m not giving that one up, we like it too well). They guarantee at least Blue Book value. As it happens, we are thinking of replacing our Toyota. Are these offers really worth contemplating, or can I do better selling it myself? How does this offer benefot the dealership? Are these modles really in that much demand, at 15 years old?

They just want to get you in the door, any high value ‘given’ on your trade in will come at the cost of a higher price for the new car. And yes, you should be able to sell it for a bit more privately, but you will have to deal with the work of selling it.

Are these offers really worth contemplating, or can I do better selling it myself?

You are far better off selling it yourself. They are NOT worth contemplating.

How does this offer benefot the dealership?

Car sales for ALL brands are down (some more then others). They are getting desperate. A dealer has a LOT of wiggle room in the price…and they know how to work the numbers so it LOOKS like it’s a great deal when in reality it’s NOT. On almost any car these days you should be able to get THOUSANDS off the MSRP with NO trade-in.

Are these modles really in that much demand, at 15 years old?

NO they’re not. What’s in demand is new car buyers…Those are in GREAT DEMAND.

The dealership is soliciting long term, satisfied customers to buy new vehicles. The service department is not making much money servicing your car because it is so dependable and problem free. Even if they take a loss on the valuation of your present car, the dealership gains by having the profit of selling the new car plus any remuneration in providing financing or leasing. The dealership cannot make profit unless it sells product or services. QED.

They don’t care about your cars, they care about your money, which they want. Those things are just an enticement to get you to come to the dealership so they can sell you a new car.

You won’t get a better deal just because you have the solicitation in your hand.

If I had a 15 year old car I’d sell it myself rather than trade it in.

The words “Blue Book Value” have almost no meaning. There are blue books, black books, yellow books, etc. You can compare “Blue Book Values” for yourself at

Check it out and see the difference between trade-in and private sale values. At least you’ll have some numbers to look at.

I received a similar solicitation letter yesterday from a Honda dealer for our 2003 Toyota 4Runner. They quoted a price that they would give us whether or not we bought a new car. The dealer claimed to have customers for this car. I threw the letter in the wastebasket.

I don’t know how the dealer knew I owned this car as I have never done business with this agency before. When I drive by the dealership, the lot is choked with both new and used cars.

I also keep getting mail and telephone calls that my warranty has expired on the Toyota and I should think about an extended warranty. I throw the letters in the trash and hang up the telephone on the solicitations.

They’ll give you top dollar, but stiff you in the rest of the deal. After all is said and done, you’d probably be lucky to pay them to take it off your hands.
I had one guy persistently ask what it’d take for me to trade in my Civic. I really wanted to tell him “I’ll go home and get the title to it and sign it over to you guys. You get the title for that car and sign it over to me and we’ll call it even. No money changes hands, no paper work, just a simple title swap.”

I agree with all posters. Especially “the only thing in demand is car buyers!” There are a lot of sales going on in the background. The sales I’m talking about are the mailing lists. Just the same as how do the windshield places know when my car is due for its annual safety and emissions inpection? I get fliers from glass places (no less than three)every year on the same month that my sticker is due. How do all these “extended warrenty” companies that are not manufacturer related know when your factory warrenty is about to expire? Someone is making a lot of money off all of us unsuspecting public.